Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Lake Stevens mom heads to weightlifting tournament


September 17, 2013

Colleen Hansford isn’t your typical mother of three. Hansford has become a dedicated power lifter and is getting ready to head to Orlando to compete in the IPF Masters World Championships in the 72 kilometer division. The competition starts on September 23.

Only three short years ago Hansford was feeling depressed about her life and was looking for a way to feel better. She headed over to Team Fitness and started working out, hoping that might alleviate some of the stress in her life.

“I had been watching a group of people who called themselves “The Hulk Squad” who liked to lift heavy weights. I have always been a “brute strength” kinda gal and I was basically bored lifting the usual reps/sets style lifting,” Hansford explained. “I needed to find something positive to focus on outside of the terrible situation I had landed myself in and more so wanting to not fail my kids, to stay strong and be a good example to my children. At that time they were the only thing keeping me from following other paths.”

She was juggling two part-time jobs, kids and living an emotional roller coaster.

“The Hulk Squad interested me and I watched this group of lifters and after about a year of personal struggles, I was able to get out of my unhealthy relationship/marriage, landed a great job at Boeing (after applying for a solid year) I felt it was time to try Powerlifting,” she said.

In December of 2010 Hansford decided to go to the Fife Holiday Classic and watch the Hulk Squad. There she was inspired to join in this sport.

“I was still trying to get on my feet and the commitment to Powerlifting hadn’t really presented itself until about August of 2011, where I attended the Alki Summer Classic. There I met Ken Gack and Katherine Kasabuske who encouraged me to come down and check out Team Phoinix out of Mukilteo,” Hansford said.

Soon she was working with coach Kevin Stewart and another group of powerlifters who call themselves Team Phoinix.

“Powerlifting in many ways saved my life on a mental and emotional level it changed my life,” she said.

Team Phoinix’s Women Master Lifters are all at least 40 years old and are the ISAPL Team National Champions for 2012/2013.

“As a part of that championship team, I am proud and honored to have been nominated to represent my country at the IPF Masters World Championships in the 72K division in September,” Hansford said. “Even more exciting to me is that I will represent the amazing group of ladies on my team and women in my community.”

If Hansford wins in Orlando she will be crowned the Women’s IPF Masters MU World Champion in her division.

Hansford is proof that if you can find something you love to do, it can turn your life around.

“I am just very passionate about my lifting and feel it should be shared to encourage and maybe inspire others,” she said.

To find out more about powerlifting visit


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